Summer Share 2012 – Week 3

Week 3 Summer CSA Package
Delicious Berkshire Pork Chops, Spelt Berries, Eggs, Beets, and More
June 19, 2012

This week’s package is one that gets my veteran customers quite excited. Thick cut, boneless Berkshire pork chops! I’m really excited about this product this year as well. I spend all winter working with the farmers on summer production. This year there were several huge challenges to us, one was the price of feeder pigs (weaned piglets that you fatten up for market) and the other was the price of feed.

The non-gmo, organic feed we were using was reaching almost $0.30 per lb, which might not sound like a lot, but to get a hog up to 300 lbs, you are looking at 900 lbs of feed. The price of feeder pigs was also climbing, where the berkshire hogs were were getting were costing almost $90 per head, where conventional feeder pigs were costing about $45.

Anyhow, the hog farmer and I worked on a few solutions. First was a breeding program to breed our own pigs. This won’t have an immediate effect as but will hedge our risks in the future. The second was to find an alternative food source. That worked out quite well.

In the basement of my warehouse, there is another company – Cleveland Tofu. Each week they make tofu using a non-gmo, Ohio grown soybean. Each week they have about 300 gallons of waste…it’s a thick, sludge like substance that is similar to soybean meal. It’s a byproduct of making tofu. It is the excess fat and protein from the soybeans in a thin, whey type solution. They have been just throwing this away, and on hot days, it just smells aweful.

So I bought a few big pallet sized totes and each week they put their byproduct in this. We keep in in the cooler and once per week haul it out to the hog farm where it is fed to the pigs. The pigs line up waiting for it. They love it and it has fattened them up quite nice and saved us money!

The other items in the bag
In addition to tasty pork chops, we have one of my favorite grains – spelt berries. Everyone looks at me like I’m nuts when I put these in. They are a healthy, whole grain with a slight nutty flavor. Use them as a side dish, cook them and add them to granola or cereal, use them in soups, or as a rice substitute.

This week’s produce is also quite abundant. We will have snow peas again and jumbo white stem bok choy. We’ll also have the first beets and some spinach this week. Remember with your beets to separate the beet greens from the roots. You can use both parts.

For those foreign to beets, please keep your eyes open for our Beet Beet Revolution class that will be hosted at the Grovewood Tavern on July 8th.

Summer Week 3:

Small CSA Share
1 package boneless loin chops, 2 per pack
2 lbs spelt berries
1 bunch spinach
1 head white stem bok choy
1 dozen eggs
1 bunch swiss chard or 1 head baby bok choy (depending on route)
1 bunch beets with tops
1 lb snow peas
1 head chinese napa cabbage

Large CSA Share Small contents above plus:
1 bunch carrots
1 lb shelled peas
1 head leaf lettuce
1 extra bunch spinach
2 bunches red bulb green onions

Vegetarian Share
Small contents minus pork chops, add:
1 bunch carrots
1 lb tofu
1 extra bunch spinach
1 bunch kale

Vegan Share
Small contents minus pork chops,
Same as Vegetarian

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